Best Time to Prevent Next Pandemic all Countries want Better Emergency Prevention

Now is the best time to prevent the next pandemic: All nations demand better prevention of emergencies

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) will not be the last health emergency in the world. We urgently need sustainable health emergency preparedness to deal with the next incident.


This is the strong feeling of the participants in the side event of the United Nations General Assembly "Promoting Sustainable Health Security and Resilience: Taking a Whole Society Approach and Breaking the Cycle of Panic and Forgetting". This high-level online conference was co-hosted by Finland, France, Indonesia and the World Health Organization.


Past crises have shown that once the epidemic is under control, governments and donors often turn their attention to other pressing issues. This cycle of panic and forgetting hinders the development of effective global health emergency preparedness. The world needs to break this cycle once and for all.


This week, the world crossed a grim milestone: more than one million people died from the COVID-19 pandemic, and more people are expected to have died from unprecedented disruptions in the health system.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Calls for strengthening of Emergency 

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, called for the strengthening of emergency prevention through government-wide and social-wide investment. 

He said in his opening speech: "Over the years, we have received many reports, review results and recommendations. They all say the same thing: the world is not ready for a pandemic. 

COVID-19 has revealed the truth: when things happened. The world is still not ready. COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic, nor will it be the last global health emergency. 

However, as long as we make the right political and financial investments now, we can promote health security To prevent and mitigate future pandemics and protect our own and future generations’ future.”


Countries' Commitment to Health Emergency preparation

Countries have talked about their commitment to health emergency preparedness. Päivi Sillanaukee, Ambassador of Health and Welfare of the Republic of Finland, said:

 “We know that prevention has economic significance. We have developed multi-sectoral cooperation tools and models. We have learned lessons from this pandemic and build on past developments. We will take measures. Strengthen health and safety, and promote the realization of sustainable development goals".

Urgent need to use the global response to COVID-19 

Stéphanie Seydoux, the French Global Health Ambassador, said: “There is an urgent need to use the global response to COVID-19 to establish, maintain and strengthen sustainable public health emergency preparedness.

 France firmly believes that prevention should be placed on the foreign policy agenda In a high position, we are willing to promote cooperation among member states to ensure that this issue remains visible, whether it is in Geneva or the United Nations General Assembly in New York."


Prevention of health emergencies is part of a larger vision of health for all. Retno LP Marsudi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, reminded participants in his speech, “We must now invest at the national level to ensure that everyone has access to affordable health care. Let us ask ourselves, how many times have we heard that people suffer from cost issues. Refusing to receive much-needed health care services? Affordable health care for all is at the core of Indonesia’s chairmanship of foreign policy and the Global Health Initiative."


The Ministers of Health of the Netherlands, Oman, Senegal and Singapore shared their countries' experience in responding to COVID-19.

 The coordinator of the African Ambassador Group in Geneva and the Deputy Director of the German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs also talked about this matter. The discussion was chaired by Indonesian Ambassador Hasan Kleib in Geneva.

 Red Cross Learnt from its cooperation with emergency networks in 192 countries

Francesco Rocca, president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, emphasized the role of empowering communities. He said that his organization learned from its cooperation with emergency networks in 192 countries that there is an urgent need to invest in community-level prevention work to "promote humanitarian action as local and global as possible.

 We call on governments, partners and donors to invest in community-level prevention work to save lives and alleviate the pain of the next inevitable emergency."


WHO says Best time to Prevent Next Pandemic All Countries Want Better Emergency Prevention
WHO Guidelines on women regarding Coronavirus 

Mr. Martin Chungong, Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, emphasized the role of parliament and the importance of a multisectoral approach. 

The International Federation of National Public Health Associations and the Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation of the European Commission emphasize the important role of partner organizations in national and global preparedness and financing.


The mayor of Geneva, Mr. Sami Kanaan, emphasized the use of the method of participation of the whole society: 

"Not only must local governments be provided with the means to implement policies. They must also be involved in international debates, and ultimately form a plan to deal with the most urgent challenges of mankind."


At the end of the event, Dr. Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, expressed appreciation for the participants’ speeches and asked them to continue to commit to prevention. 

He said: "We absolutely, absolutely, absolutely cannot let the world forget, because the next time may be the worst. This time (COVID-19) may be just a harbinger of the future, and we are living in too many risks."


This event is an important dialogue between countries, donors and partners to better prepare for future emergencies during the current COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Earlier, the Global Prevention and Monitoring Committee issued a thought-provoking report and also called for urgent action in this area.


According to the report, investment in prevention is only US$5 per person per year, and the cost of this pandemic has exceeded US$11 trillion and is still increasing.

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